Spotify has reportedly purchased Kinzen, a Dublin-based firm founded by Mark Little, Aine Kerr, and Paul Watson, to assist the audio streaming platform in identifying emerging threats and dangerous content.
Kinzen, formerly known as Neva Labs, was founded in 2017 and initially focused on curating news. The firm later shifted to the online trust and safety sector by leveraging its technology to detect dangerous content and hate speech.
Apparently, Kinzen has been working with Spotify since 2020, initially on matters pertaining to electoral integrity and flagging podcast content for further scrutiny ahead of the presidential elections that year.
The transaction marked Dublin’s emergence as a hub for trust and safety, stated Mark Little, a former RTÉ journalist. Little founded the firm Storyful before selling it to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
Kinzen’s technology brings together machine learning and human expertise to analyze potentially damaging content and hate speech published in various languages and nations. The technology is supported by research from top local academics and journalists. Spotify shared that this deal would help the company better comprehend the abuse scenario and identify emerging concerns.
Little said that the two parties aimed to stay with the organization, which has 22 full-time employees at its Dublin headquarters. Additionally, the Swedish streaming service provider recently launched a podcast moderation center in Dublin.
Stockholm-based Spotify, which is one of the market leaders in audio subscriptions, stated that its current partnership with the Irish company was critical to improving its approach to platform safety. The company further stated that Kinzen’s technology was especially useful for podcasting and audio formats, thereby adding more value to the collaboration.
Spotify’s head of trust and safety, Sarah Hoyle, noted that the acquisition and the audio streaming platform’s establishment of a safety advisory council showed a ‘proactive approach’ to safety.